On its own, securing news coverage through media relations tactics, whether through a broadcast clip, a print story, or a radio segment, is a win. However, there are various ways that these hard-earned clips can and should deliver value beyond the initial publication date. After all, a positive story about an organization and its people provides an exciting opportunity for new and familiar audiences to become better acquainted with a brand. There are many ways earned media clips can be amplified, and this blog will focus on three: social media, non-profit associations and other partners, and internal stakeholders.
Sharing an earned media clip on social media platforms is usually appropriate and encouraged, but it’s important to think through the pros and cons. Marketers pondering whether to showcase a clip through social channels can consider the following questions to guide decision-making.
- Is it accurate and reliable?
- Will it resonate with the organization’s audience?
- Is there a better time to share the story?
- Is the outlet relevant and credible to the target audience?
Here are some best practices to consider when posting a story through social channels:
- Tease the story beforehand – If possible, share “behind-the-scenes” photos to tease when a story may run on a local outlet. This is particularly true for broadcast clips on television and radio.
- Craft compelling copy – Write concise and catchy copy to accompany the story. Summarize the key points and mention the subject-matter experts to entice people to click.
- Add visual content – Ensure a link preview for the article. Add an eye-catching image or video thumbnail if an image doesn’t load automatically.
- Tag relevant parties – If applicable, tag appropriate individuals, organizations, brands, reporters, and media outlets in your post. This can expand reach and likelihood of engagement.
- Utilize hashtags – Include relevant hashtags in your post to increase visibility and reach a wider audience interested in the topic or industry.
Cross-promoting With Non-profit Associations and Partners
Many organizations, especially nonprofits, are affiliated with trade associations and other partners and peers. Sharing the message with these like-minded groups can increase exposure and help ensure the message reaches the most critical audiences, perhaps more than once! Here are some questions to consider when deciding if a clip merits this level of personal outreach:
- Does the organization or member base have a similar target audience or complementary goals?
- Is there an existing relationship with the organization or members? Or is this an opportunity to start a relationship?
- Is there an opportunity to collaborate on future stories?
- Is sharing this news mutually beneficial?
If, after evaluating the questions above, the organization decides to share the story, here are some best practices to consider:
- Identify relevant organizations or pockets of members – Include only those groups or members whose goals align with the media story. This could include an overlapping interest, value, or person mentioned in the report.
- Position the shared story in a way that encourages relationship building – When reaching out, marketers should communicate the article’s purpose and explain how collaborating on promoting the story benefits both parties.
- Make it easy to share – If the news is best suited for social media, provide a suggested blurb, necessary visuals, recommended hashtags, and links to pages that can be tagged.
- Engage in social media exchanges – If the organization or member shares the clip, engage with the content.
An audience that organizations should never overlook when promoting an earned media placement is their employees, board members, and other internal stakeholders. An internal audience should feel pride about being associated with the organization and will likely welcome the opportunity to digest and share positive news. Marketers on the fence about including employees in the first line of communication can consider these questions:
- Does the story discuss essential developments for the organization? If so, should there be a separate communication first?
- Will the story boost the morale and engagement of stakeholders within the organization?
- Is the story aligned with the organization’s goals, values, and mission?
A positive media mention may also be a new tool in their toolbox if the organization has a sales, admissions, or recruitment team. Try highlighting how this audience can utilize third-party validation to enhance the group’s product or service.
Finally, here are some specific tips to implement when sharing the news through email, intranet, or other avenues:
- Include internal stakeholders in the first line of communication – Don’t wait to tell employees about significant developments or initiatives. Create a sense of involvement earlier in the process. However, if the story includes new details, have a relevant leader or spokesperson in the organization share the news with an appropriate note. If necessary, seek media training for executives and spokespeople to make these communications more seamless.
- Align the story with the organization’s goals – Often, news stories focus on an element of an organization’s values and mission. Make the tie to the organization clear.
- Encourage internal brand advocacy – Employees are an organization’s biggest brand ambassadors. They will likely share the news with their networks when given the opportunity. Make it easy for them to share information by providing the links, visuals, and talking points necessary.
- Provide an avenue for employees to share their stories – Seeing a positive news story about a coworker or customer service may inspire others to share their own stories. Make it easy for them to share this information by providing a relevant contact.
- Have a contact for employees to engage with or ask questions – If the news story may prompt questions from your internal audience, have a way for them to reach out and receive a quick response.
Make the Most of Your Earned Media
Cross-promoting media clips is a smart tactic to add to an organization’s marketing mix. Gaining additional mileage beyond the first clip will act as social proof, positively influence public perception, and increase trust and credibility within the organization.
To learn more about making the most of earned media opportunities in partnership with a public relations agency, contact us today.